Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement in Germany and the U.S. Following Licensing Disagreement [Updated]

Nokia today announced that it has filed several complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on Nokia patents.

Nokia's lawsuit stems from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. Apple this morning filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands.

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According to Apple, Nokia's failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties. From Apple's complaint:

With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.

Nokia's own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.

Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: "Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights."

Nokia has filed lawsuits in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich in Germany. The lawsuits cover 32 patents that cover technologies including display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding. Nokia says additional actions are to come.

Update: Nokia today filed additional patent lawsuits against Apple in Asia, Europe, and the United States. As of today, Nokia has filed 40 patent suits in 11 countries.

Update 2: Apple is now suing Nokia itself as the legal battle continues to escalate. Apple has added Nokia Corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy, and Nokia Technologies Oy to the list of defendants in its aforementioned antitrust case against several patent assertion entities that have sued Apple over Nokia patents.

Top Rated Comments

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45 months ago
Nokia have a right to protect its patents, just like Apple has a right.

The courts will decide who is right.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

I'll be waiting breathlessly for the final verdict in July, 2032, when the term "mobile phone" will seem quaint or archaic.

I might be a bit too dry, but seriously...

Nokia is a company in networking business, in control of significant portions of patent pools and R&D of Nokia (eh), Siemens, Motorola and Alcatel-Lucent in cellular networks. Without the research they put in the subject, there would be much less of anything those iPhones could use to communicate. They are one of the behemoths of telecom technologies in the background, along with Ericsson and Huawei. These companies are not a joke; they are building blocks of our current society. Sure, Apple would want to be let to take advantage of their research for free.

I have been professionally involved with most of these companies over my career. I have also been involved with several central companies without which Macs wouldn't be possible - and also defence companies making existence of Western democracies a real thing. The amount of interest these companies put on research is central to our modern societies, and it costs real money. Nonetheless, only expectation on this forum is some sort of a poop-throwing festivity. Amount of fixation on a single company, in good or bad, on this forum is absurd.

Let's put it straight: no company has a chance to survive purely on its own. This especially applies to markets such as telecommunications and microelectronics. Apple is reliant on hundreds of companies to make a single working product on these markets. Nokia is really one of those companies that has put - even conservatively speaking - tens of billions on R&D which has benefited Apple. What's the moral high ground choosing to unquestionably defend Apple on this case?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
45 months ago

Third parties have commented ('http://www.fosspatents.com/2015/05/privateering-lets-name-and-shame.html') on the deplorable practices taken by Nokia and it's PAEs before, this isn't exactly a new scenario. It sounds like Apple just decided that enough is enough; considering the lawsuit they filed is about antitrust allegations, they're obviously trying to bust the whole system open.

This is the exact tactic Apple had tried to use against Android with their Rockstar Consortium -- until Google successfully convinced the court that Apple was orchestrating it behind the curtain and moved the case from TX to CA.

Why is it ok when Apple does it, but "deplorable" when someone else does it?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
Oh boy, more lawsuits.

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
Waiting for the 'PATENT TROLL' posts from the utterly clueless followers, just like the Ericsson case...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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45 months ago
This will probably be Cook's next excuse for no Mac upgrades and innovations. They probably have the only 2 engineers that can work on Mac's working on this lawsuit.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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